Only a year after the free school meals policy was introduced for all infant children (those aged four to seven) in English schools the government is now planning to scrap it in this autumn’s spending review.
All the evidence shows that children benefit from having a healthy, nutritious hot meal at school.
Healthy school meals gives infant children the best start in life, helping to improve their health, wellbeing and educational attainment.
At the time of austerity with rising housing and living costs, stagnating wages and welfare cuts, including cuts to tax credits, which have all combined to squeeze the incomes of families across the country, scrapping the school meals initiative could have disastrous consequences as millions of children could go hungry.
UNISON campaigns for universal free school meals for all children because of its many educational, health and social benefits and achieving it for infant children was a significant breakthrough.
The union is encouraging members and their families to sign the petition and put pressure on the government not to scrap the school meals policy.